By Nirvana Bhatia
Master's candidate in Human Rights
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Barry Hughes is not usually a nervous man.
The director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, pictured at left, has spent his life forecasting the future of our world and sharing his research with high-level policymakers in a variety of nations, including Germany, Iran and the European Union. He's delivered countless speeches during his career as a professor and he's developed a ground-breaking computer forecasting system for international futures known as IFs.
Yet his upcoming presentation at the TEDxDU event this May has him on edge.
"I'm nervous," Hughes said. "It's a real honor to be invited to join this group, and I'm challenged to make my contribution meaningful. It was an invitation I couldn't refuse."
TEDxDU is an independently organized event that enables the local community to engage with one another in the well-renowned TED model of dialogue. (The acronym stands for technology, entertainment, design.)
The California-based organization attempts to share what it terms "ideas worth spreading" through short talks by leading change makers in every field. In addition to Hughes, speakers such as the creatively self-described Peace "Proactivist" Karambu Ringera, ir-Reverend at Chipotle Mexican Grill William Espey, and Musicologist Arthur Jones will also reflect on the power of ideas at the University of Denver's session.
Hughes was one of the first people asked to participate in the event and will focus his 15-minute talk on two issues: introducing the computer forecasting system (IFs) that he uses for his work, and discussing global poverty reduction, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, as an example of the studies he conducts.
According to Hughes, the best tools for reducing poverty in developing countries include increasing savings and investments, reducing corruption in government, encouraging family planning, and creating more enterprise-economic situations to engage with the world economy.
"I won't give away the punch line," he said. "But, in general, we're asking the audience to think. The general notion of TEDxDU is big ideas, ideas that can change the world."
TEDxDU will be held May 13 in the Gates Concert Hall. Tickets are available at http://www.du.edu/tedxdu/index.html.
For more information about the Center for International Futures visit its website: http://www.ifs.du.edu/